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A body found on the banks of the Delaware River in 2003 has been identified thanks to genetic genealogy; a man is wanted for multiple Home Depot thefts

Victim identified in 20-year-old cold case thanks to genetic genealogy

Source: Bensalem Police

Bensalem Police are expressing gratitude toward the nonprofit Cold Case Initiative for its assistance in identifying a body that was discovered on the banks of the Delaware River in 2003. 

On Oct. 19, 2003, two fishermen discovered the body of a white male in a drainage area on the Yellow Freight property, located at 2627 State Road. The male had no identification, and his description did not match any reports of missing persons in that area. 

An autopsy was performed, and it was determined that there was no trauma to the body, and that the cause of death was drowning. The manner of death could not be determined. Partial fingerprints were obtained, but did not match any known fingerprints in the national database, and samples of DNA comparison were obtained.

The unidentified male was buried in the Doylestown Cemetery while attempts to identify him continued. Bensalem Police compared the unknown male to numerous missing person reports over the next 19 years without success. 

In December 2022, Bensalem Police obtained hair samples from the Bucks County Coroner’s Office that were collected at autopsy. Those hair samples were sent to a private laboratory where a DNA profile was obtained. Cold Case Initiative got involved and funded an investigative genetic genealogy search of public DNA databases by a genealogist. 

The search and subsequent investigation led investigators to speak with Edward Nece, from Riverside, New Jersey. On Oct. 19, 2023, exactly 20 years after the body was discovered, Nece told investigators that his son Edward Anthony Nece hadn’t been heard from for 20 years. He provided a DNA sample that was then compared to the DNA recovered from the unknown male. The DNA match confirmed that the unidentified male was Nece’s son, and after 20 years, the family is able to finally know what happened to their loved one. 

Home Depot thief strikes again

Source: Bensalem Police

Bensalem Police need the public’s help in identifying an unknown male who has allegedly committed multiple retail thefts within the township. Police are investigating a retail theft at the Home Depot, located at 1336 Bristol Pike, on Jan. 28. It was reported that the unknown black male entered the store at about 1:25 p.m. and loaded a suitcase with numerous circuit breakers totaling roughly $6,300. The suspect fled in a white SUV, possibly a Mazda CX9, without paying for the merchandise. 

Police are also investigating a retail theft that occurred at the Home Depot, located at 900 Rockhill Drive, at about 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 12. The same man allegedly stole eight packs of GFCI outlets and two security cameras valued at $535 before fleeing in the white SUV. 

His crime spree began on Jan. 27, when he allegedly stole numerous circuit breakers from the Home Depot at 900 Rockhill Drive. 

If you have any information regarding the identity of this repeat offender, submit an anonymous tip online at bucks.crimewatchpa.com/bensalempd/or call Bensalem Police at 215-633-3719.

T.J. Maxx retail theft

Source: Lower Southampton Police

On Sept. 20, Oct. 11 and Nov. 13, 2023, Lower Southampton Township Police responded to and investigated reports of retail thefts at the T.J. Maxx in Feasterville. During the investigations, the involved individuals were identified as Darryl Foreman, who is currently incarcerated at the Philadelphia Correctional Facility, and his conspirator, 27-year-old Hamid Barrett, of Philadelphia. Detectives have issued an arrest warrant for Barrett for three counts of Retail Theft, one count of Receiving Stolen Property and three counts of Criminal Conspiracy. 

If you know the whereabouts of Barrett, submit an anonymous tip online at bucks.crimewatchpa.com/lowersouthamptontwppd/ or call Lower Southampton Police at 215-357-1234.

Bensalem officers graduate from command school

Source: Bensalem Police

Sgts. Mark Dornisch and Daniel Errigo recently graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Police and Command, Class #563. This is a 10-week training course that is essential for law enforcement leaders and enhances the professionalism of any police department. Dornisch and Errigo will now put this training into their everyday leadership duties. 

The Bensalem Township Police Department’s Honor Guard was also present to Post the Colors at the beginning of the ceremony. 

Two new Bensalem Police officers sworn in

Source: Bensalem Police

Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo, director of public safety Bill McVey and the rest of the Bensalem Township Police Department recently welcomed two new officers to their ranks. DiGirolamo officiated the swearing-in ceremony for Officers Zachary Litvinenko and Rigoberto Alvarez.

Litvinenko grew up in Bensalem Township and attended Bensalem High School. He then graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree and was hired by the City of Chester as a police officer. During his five years at the City of Chester Police Department, he received a lifesaving award for saving a choking child, and extensive training and experience that will be an asset to the Bensalem Township Police Department and Bensalem’s residents. His father, George, has been an outstanding Bensalem Township Police officer since 2005. 

Alvarez is a Philadelphia resident who graduated from Frankford High School and then attended DeSales University and Camden County Community College. He served the country as an infantryman with the Army National Guard for three years and was honorably discharged. Alvarez has been a Philadelphia Police officer for the past seven years and has been recognized as an Officer of the Month by Philadelphia Police.

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